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Mooji a cult?
Posted by: happytown ()
Date: March 24, 2017 05:45AM

Hi does anyone have any information about Mooji? There are few things on here but nothing recent.

There doesn't seem to be much online. At first I thought I was getting a lot of benefit from watching his videos online. But more and more I'm starting to feel it's more of a trance effect. But all the content is free so I can't really see what the point is? Unless it's feeding into a lot of paid retreats and merchandise.

Haven't found anything on the internet really to suggest his organisation is anything bad. But the white clothes and trancelike laughing followers are a bit of a red flag for me.

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Older thread here
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 24, 2017 07:31AM

Here are some discussions on an older thread.

[forum.culteducation.com]

Tiruvannamalai, (aka "Tiru") where Mooji and many others hold
satsangs, has become a major hub for spiritual tourism, due to
the fame of deceased guru Ramana Maharshi.

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Re: Older thread here
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: April 23, 2017 06:53PM

I would also be interested in hearing any thoughts about Mooji/the Mooji scene as it is in 2017.

My own recent experience attending a Mooji satsang, the first spiritual event I'd been at, was that I felt myself becoming once more my forgotten, calmed self, risen up from the lowest level of consciousness, and as if for the first time connected with reality outside of my collapsed mind.

When the song took place at the end of the satsang, I looked at Mooji and felt "There is God!". I was certainly in a trance when listening to him, and I felt the white-light energy around him.

I was raised as Christian, then for 25 years had a severe anxiety disorder which I fuelled with various addictions. Mooji showed me a way out of it, as he speaks to my consciousness before its anxiety. Whatever minor critique may be made of him, it is of no consequence if he offers me a way out of the hell my adult life has been.

And yet it troubles me, coming from a Christian background, that I see that he is worshipped, and that he (or his team) encourages people to worship him. They sell canvas picures of his feet, as if enlightenment came from devotion and surrender to Mooji. And songs declare "Mooji is the answer, Mooji is the way"; rather than "Mooji will point you towards the way". It also seems like he is dismissive or disparaging of other paths, such as yoga or meditation, or religious learning.

Yet, is he not deserving of worship? Well, he is certainly very nice and patient with everyone who meets him; but, then, he exists in a bubble, surrounded only by those who worship him. It's easy to be nice to your pious disciples.

But perhaps this is just me not understanding that the "person" is very small in Mooji, and he is indeed an embodiment of God; a vehicle through which we can channel our desire to believe in and praise God, and so uncover our own best natures.

It might also be that I am not familiar or comfortable with the Indian tradition of guru-worship. Although one Indian I spoke with said that the true guru does not ask to be venerated.

When I listen to Mooji, I also sometimes think "Well, what exactly is he actually saying? Is there any content to this? Could it be rephrased and repeated by somebody else; or is it just an endless babble of soothing words intended to put you into a trance state so as to anaesthetize the mind?" And if it is just babble, isn't that alright, since it's my mind I want to overcome?

Here a recent interview with Mooji: [www.youtube.com]

And a video by Adyashanti discussing the need for a guru (incidentally I find myself more comfortable with Adyashanti's teachings, as he does not seem to ask to be worshipped, but shares a similar message): [www.youtube.com]

Thank you for reading, and I would be glad to hear your thoughts.

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Deciding what's a cult and what's not
Posted by: happytown ()
Date: June 11, 2017 06:49PM

I think when analysed in conjunction with Robert Lifton's 8 criteria to define a destructive cult, it'S the best way to decide whether it's a cult or not. Good to watch these hypnotic sessions online and any closer contact with Mr. Moo with these in mind:

1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.

2. Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.

3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.

4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.

5. Sacred Science. The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.

6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clich�s, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.

7. Doctrine over person. Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.

8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)

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Re: Deciding what's a cult and what's not
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 11, 2017 08:14PM

Lifton defined "thought reform" based upon those eight criteria.

See [www.culteducation.com]

Lifton also wrote a paper published at Harvard specifically about destructive cults.

See [www.culteducation.com]

Lifton stated that destructive cults can be identified by three primary characteristics.

1. A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power.

2. A process I call coercive persuasion or thought reform.

3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

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Re: Deciding what's a cult and what's not
Posted by: happytown ()
Date: June 11, 2017 08:37PM

Thanks very much for the clarification.

Is Lifton saying then that thought reform is potentially positive, even within the context of a group fulfilling these 8 criteria?

I'm asking because 'thought reform' sounds like a very neutral term (you could say the US army engages in thought reform during boot camp)- whereas these 8 criteria seems inherently negative as I read them.

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Re: Deciding what's a cult and what's not
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 11, 2017 08:47PM

No.

Thought reform is the second characteristic used to define a cult in Lifton's paper "Cult Formation."

My book "Cults Inside Out" cites "Cult Formation" as the nucleus for a definition of a destructive cult and includes thought reform, coercive persuasion and certain influence techniquest in a chapter titled "Cult Brainwashing."

See [cultsinsideout.com]

There is an excellent documentary "Captive Minds" that demonstrates how thought reform, hypnosis and influence techniques can be used to manipulate and control people.

See [www.youtube.com]

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: June 12, 2017 08:32AM

Okay, I will quickly consider these. Really it's clear to me that Mooji is an open-ended spiritual group/New Age/new-religion, but not a cult.


1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.

Mooji is the fount of knowledge. Communication during satsang takes the form of dialogue with him. Individuals living at the ashram might become isolated from society at large, just like anyone at an ashram or monastery might. But they can leave whenever they like.

2. Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.

During satsangs you sometimes witness individuals screaming or having panic attacks. Mooji remaining calm while it goes on, and may have them come to the front so he can try to calm them down. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. These energetic outbursts are just something that happens spontaneously when people freak out in satsang.

3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.

There is never any guilt or shame from Mooji. He is incredibly patient and charitable with everybody, even those who have made little or no attempt to follow his pointings.

4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.

People do say to him in satsang "I just wanted to expose this", but it will be some impersonal infraction they believe they have committed regarding not having sufficiently followed his teachings. There's never any shame to it.

5. Sacred Science. The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.

Mooji will say that he considers discovering the self/letting go of the person to be the thing of most importance for humanity today. It might be that way for those inside satsang, but there are lots of problems facing the world that it doesn't answer. I don't see that you could really raise this with Mooji, as you would be speaking from 'within the person' and the satsang crowd wouldn't like it either.


6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clich�s, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.

There's certainly a way of speaking, a use of language which takes a while to get used to.

7. Doctrine over person. Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.

Mooji doesn't want people to communicate with him from their position as a person. He doesn't' want to hear background stories, personal life problems, etc. But contrary experiences will certainly be shared in satsang.

8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)

People are free to come and go as they please, and they will be treated with love and warmth when they're around, and when they come back. But at the same time the de-emphasis on "the person" means that there wouldn't be a strong attempt to hook any one person in.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: happytown ()
Date: June 13, 2017 03:07AM

Thanks - that Captive Minds video was very interesting. There definitely seemed to be parallels between Osho and the Mooji place. There is a big picture of Osho in the church hall that Mooji uses for his meets. But no evidence of people with machine guns guarding him :)

I did more research into Mooji's claims of lineage. He is descended from an Indian man called Papaji who has a few western gurus now preaching in his name. Some of the teachers (one is an elderly white American or Canadian woman called Gangaji) seem to be clearly connected and endorsed by Papaji/Poonjaji. I can't find any evidence of Mooji's exact relationship with Papaji though, apart from this video where he just seems to humiliate him [www.youtube.com].

There are no pictures anywhere with him and Papaji, unlike some other teachers... it made me think maybe he is overcompensating with all these pictures of his followers hugging and smiling with him. He doesn't have a picture with his Guru! I also found connections between Papaji and a disgraced Guru Andrew Cohen who is well documented on youtube and other places now. Again, Andrew Cohen seems to have just spent a few weeks with Papaji and then gone onto create a personality cult around himself. But the message is entirely different to the what Mooji is talking about.

But I can't find anything particularly nefarious. Though the more I watch these "satsangs", the more it gives me the creeps. But if he's not hurting anyone, who knows.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: June 13, 2017 05:51AM

Mooji talks about his meeting with Papaji from around 12:55 here:

[www.youtube.com]

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